SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – October 2010

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Knobstone Trail, IN

Climb high (really!) in the Midwest.

by: Jim Gorman

Knobstone Trail (Clint Farlinger)
Knobstone Trail (Clint Farlinger)

Less is More
See all 50-mile thru-hikes
(45  miles, 3-5 days)
Four hundred feet of incline here, 400 feet there, and before you know it, you’re talking serious elevation. That’s how it goes on the KT, Indiana’s resounding rebuttal to misconceptions that the state is basketball-court flat.
  
In 45 miles, the Knobstone racks up a Rockies-esque 10,500 feet of elevation gain while riding a rugged escarpment that starts within eyeshot of Louisville, Kentucky. When united with its northern section (now called the Tecumseh Trail), the KT will extend a hard-to-ignore 140 miles. But it’s not just hills that distinguish the KT. You’ll pass through thickly forested hollows, cross rocky outcrops, gain tree-top vistas, and likely hear coyotes yip in the night. Start from the north in Delaney Creek State Park, leaving the hardest climbs and best views for the end. (317) 232-4029; in.gov/dnr/outdoor/4224.htm

The way South trailhead: From Louisville, take I-65 north six miles to IN 60. Go nine miles to Deam Lake State Recreation Area. North trailhead: From Salem, IN, take IN 135 for 8.4 miles to E. Rooster Hill Rd. Go 2.3 miles to Delaney Creek State Park.

Shuttle Go Deep Adventures ($65/two hikers, 812-967-4620)

Season May for leaf-out. Mid-October for colors. Must cache water from July to September.

Guidebook and map Hiking Indiana, by Phil Bloom ($17, falcon.com); Indiana DNR Knobstone Trail Topo Map ($4, 317-232-4180)




Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
al yates
Apr 27, 2014

This trail can be tricky to follow! Its a ass kicker if you aren't in shape! Do not underestimate this indiana trail. I have hiked the Pacific coast trail start to finish an the knobstone is harder.... Not many switch backs is what makes it so difficult... My aadvice is no packs that weight more than 20 pounds....

Star Star Star Star Star
al yates
Apr 27, 2014

This trail can be tricky to follow! Its a ass kicker if you aren't in shape! Do not underestimate this indiana trail. I have hiked the Pacific coast trail start to finish an the knobstone is harder.... Not many switch backs is what makes it so difficult... My aadvice is no packs that weight more than 20 pounds....

Star Star Star Star Star
John
Apr 25, 2014

Jim Ticks are apart of spring camping in southern Indiana, make sure you treat your clothes, sleep system and shelter with permethrin (92% fatality for ticks, harmless to humans), use a little deet on exposed skin (83% deterrent for ticks). If you take correct measures then ticks are not an issue. That being said...

KT is amazing and challenging with a abundance of climbs (very few switch backs) it will keep you heart racing and your feet slowly moving. It is very well maintained and a great trail spring and fall are the times to go summer is very dry.

Star Star Star Star Star
John
Apr 25, 2014

Jim Ticks are apart of spring camping in southern Indiana, make sure you treat your clothes, sleep system and shelter with permethrin (92% fatality for ticks, harmless to humans), use a little deet on exposed skin (83% deterrent for ticks). If you take correct measures then ticks are not an issue. That being said...

KT is amazing and challenging with a abundance of climbs (very few switch backs) it will keep you heart racing and your feet slowly moving. It is very well maintained and a great trail spring and fall are the times to go summer is very dry.

Star Star
Jim
Apr 15, 2014

I went in late spring of 2012 and it's the last time I go... All I can say is TICKS! We went on a 2 night adventure and after the first day, counted over 110 ticks that we had to remove (luckily only one attached). We stopped counting the first day, but easily had well over 200 between 3 people. It literally felt like it was raining sometimes - but it was just the blood suckers jumping off plants and trees. We were sure to stop and check for ticks every 200-300 yards of hiking, sometimes in earlier intervals. Completely ruined the experience. Bring clothing that covers your entire body if you go!

The trails were good besides that pretty major issue. Not much scenery, just hiking in woods.

matt
Apr 22, 2012

Knobstone was amazing! We went in January and the trail was wonderful. There were streams with water deep enough to pump water out of. We started on the southern end. The people in our group with heavy packs were struggling on the hills, the ones with ultralight packs were breezing over the trails. Great experience and we will totally come back and hike it again.
I disagree with Dan, this is much easier than the AT. However, it is still has a few leg-burners along the way.

JC
Nov 03, 2011

Finished this trail a couple weeks ago I did it in 3 days and really wish I'd had an extra day to do this trail. This trail is nothing if not challenging. I thought I was a pretty good weekend warrior, but this one is tough.
Be ready for it.

Matt
Jan 04, 2011

Dan is completely right. I fell about three times on this one. Definitely nothing gradual about ascents or descents. Also, it isn't hiked a lot so the trail can be hard to follow. I think in the two days I was there we ran into one other group and it was near a trailhead. Highly recommended you bring bug protection; the ticks get really bad in late summer, early fall.

Dan
Dec 17, 2010

Did this trail in 2.5 days and it is brutal on the knees. Trail decends steep, be ready to take a couple falls. Harder than the AT, not a trainer for it!

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Rocky Mountains
TR: Southern Gore Range
Posted On: Jul 22, 2014
Submitted By: Lamebeaver
Trailhead Register
The Death of backpacking? (Essay)
Posted On: Jul 22, 2014
Submitted By: GoBlueHiker
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions